Remembering the Past: Metuchen Rotary Club

by Diane Norek Harrison

METUCHEN–In almost five years of doing this column I have yet to hear from readers with past material or memories of Metuchen. I am hoping to hear from more people with material or memories of the past from Metuchen, Carteret and Raritan/Edison Township. If you know someone with a great memory have them contact me with information from the past.

The Metuchen Rotary Club celebrated its 25th anniversary with a dinner held on March 18, 1954 at the Oak Hills Manor.

Twenty-five years ago a group of men met at Oak Mills Manor, then known as Pfaff’s Restaurant and founded the Metuchen Rotary Club.

The first officers elected were: Robert Hale, president; Dr. Alfred Ellis, vice-president; Fred Zimmerman, secretary and Arthur Hillpot, treasurer. Additional charter members were: John Bobo, Frank Brownwell, Frank Buchanan, Edgar Bunce, Edward Burroughs, Alfred Ellis, Clement fairweather, Melvin Hollenbach, Harry Holdstein, Carlyle Morris, John Morris, Frank Powell, Charles Prickett, Luther Riddle, Phillip Ruegger, Carol Von Hartz, john Wester, Frederick Whitaker, and Washington Wilson. The New Brunswick Rotary Club acted as sponsors.

Throughout the last 10 years the club has had 100 percent participation in one of the International Rotary’s projects, the Rotary Scholarship. Phillips Ruegger has headed this local committee for the last couple of years, The club each year sends a boy to Boys’ State, honors an outstanding Boy Scout, helps sponsor the heated pool at the Metuchen YMCA for post polio cases, aids the Little League and sponsors or donates towards many other activities. Two members have been honored by being elected district governors, Ruegger and Ayaln Pierson, Individual Rotarians have given their services frequently as leaders in the community drives.

The officers for 1954 were: John Paffendorf, president; Frank Isola, vice-president; Elmo Spoerl, secretary and John B. Molineux, sergeant-at-arms.

If you have past information for any organization/club, the YMCA, clam bakes, past names of businesses or bars, school, plays, past town activities, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, winter or summer send them over! Hoping to hear from more readers from all seven towns listed below.

If you have your own memories or past material for Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge you can email me at or send “copies” of your material to me at CMD Media P.O. Box 1061 Rahway, NJ 0706

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